Map of China United States Superimposed Drawn to same scale. United States Dept. of Commerce Bureau of Foreign & Domestic Commerce
- Author: WHITHAM, Paul P[age]
- Publication place: Peking
- Publication date: July, 1919.
- Physical description: Lithograph map, with outline hand colour and manuscript annotations.
- Dimensions: 250 by 305mm. (9.75 by 12 inches).
- Inventory reference: 14316
As the map’s legend notes, both countries are drawn to the same scale. The existing rail network (6,500 miles of track) is shown by a black and white dashed line, and the augmented network proposed by Whitham (21,000 miles) is shown by a thinner dashed line. The United States is outlined in red and China in green. Whitham wished to convey the potential for infrastructure development in China: a country in which the inhabited part “is roughly half as large as the inhabited part of the United States, yet it supports five times as many people… China must feed about 23 percent of the world’s population from about 7 percent of the world’s arable land” (Fairband and Golman).
Unfortunately, Whitham’s report did not have the desired impact. His proposals were backed by Frank Bosworth Brandegee, a Connecticut senator, who brought the report to the attention of the Department of Commerce, the Secretary of State and President Woodrow Wilson. Wilson was unconvinced, replying “I am of the belief that the public interests would not be conserved by the transmission to the Senate of the report requested”.